The City of Ottawa is standing at a watershed moment: decisions we make in the next five years will shape the way we move around the city for years to come. Titled “Seizing the moment for Safe and Healthy Streets,” Ecology Ottawa’s state of the city report highlights progress on active transportation in the city and key opportunities for improving pedestrian, cycling and transit infrastructure.
Some of the report findings include:
- There is strong City of Ottawa policy language supporting key complete streets and active transportation. However, this is not sufficient to lead to consistently optimal outcomes for active transportation.
- The City of Ottawa has not yet demonstrated an appreciation of the principle of induced demand, meaning hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to reduce congestion without any evidence that additional roads will reduce congestion.
- The City of Ottawa is increasing its investment in cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. However, this spending increase could be interpreted as correcting historic underinvestment rather than showing large levels of ambition on active transportation.
- Active transportation project transparency is lacking, making it difficult to trace expenditures over time.
- Putting forward more aggressive targets for the adoption of sustainable transportation modes as part of the renewal of the Transportation Master Plan.
- Widening analysis beyond 600 metres when considering active transportation connectivity to transit hubs. Extending this radius to 5 kilometres and following through systematically could provide real sustainable transportation options to 70% of Ottawa’s population.
- Learning from the design of Pimisi Station and the Booth Street bridge. The City of Ottawa could ensure early and consistent inclusion of active transportation design elements into future LRT projects, drawing from their experience with these LRT stations.
The report was launched at the Active Transportation Summit on Wednesday, May 16 at Christ Church Cathedral. Over 100 Ottawa residents and representatives of community associations, advocacy groups and the City of Ottawa came together to discuss the findings of the report and how to take advantages of the key opportunities.
We would like to thank the committed and hard-working research team for their help with this report, and the Sustainable Transportation Advisory Committee for their guidance. We appreciate the financial support of the Ottawa Community Foundation, the City of Ottawa's Community Environmental Projects Grant Program and hundreds of Ecology Ottawa supporters to make this project possible.
Please consider making a donation to help us continue this important work.